Friday, December 16, 2011

Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs

Microsoft today has put Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs on its Windows Azure Platform. These labs provides integration capabilities for the Windows Azure Platform to extend on-premises applications to the cloud, provides rich messaging endpoints on the cloud to process and transform the messages, and helps organizations integrate with disparate applications, both on cloud and on-premises. In other words, Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs provides common integration capabilities (e.g. bridges, transforms, B2B messaging) on Windows Azure Service Bus.

Below you find list of resources (taken from Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs - December 2011 Release page):

Installing the Windows Azure Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs - December 2011

Supplies details about what is required to properly install and run Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs.

Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs - Tutorials

Start learning the basics of developing Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs solutions using these short tutorials.

Business to Business Messaging

Learn how Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs enables business-to-business messaging on Windows Azure

Rich Messaging Endpoints

Learn about the basic concepts about of rich messaging endpoints and how to use them in Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs.


Learn how to use and configure transforms with rich messaging endpoints.

Service Bus Connect

Learn how to use Service Bus Connect in an EAI application to extend the reach of cloud-based applications to on-premises LOB applications.

Samples: Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs

Download the samples available for Service Bus EAI and EDI Labs.

This is great news for us BizTalk professionals and ones that are interested in integration capabilities in the cloud.

I can see the labs through my management portal:


Have fun.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Ordina behaalt zilver in Microsoft Applicatie integratie

Afgelopen week heeft Ordina AIM binnen het Microsoft Partner Model de mooie zilveren status behaald binnen de competentie “Applicatie Integration”. Onder deze competentie vallen onder andere de bekende producten zoals BizTalk en WCF. Mede dankzij effort van Steef-Jan Wiggers en Sjoerd van Lochem is deze eerste mooie stap gemaakt. Steef-Jan ligt de prestatie verder toe:

Het Partner Model bij Microsoft is volledig op de schop gegaan, omdat in feite in heel de wereld en dus ook in Nederland teveel partners de status van “Gold” Partner hadden. Het onderscheid tussen de partners was in zijn geheel niet meer duidelijk. En “Gold” Partner waarin? Je bent Microsoft “Gold” Partner, maar wat betekent dit nu in feite voor mij als klant en waar onderscheid jij als leverancier van Microsoft diensten nu van de rest.

Als je voldoende opbrengsten levert als partner op Microsoft producten en diensten en voldoende gecertificeerde mensen in dienst hebt, dan was je “Gold” partner. Het nieuwe Partner Model van Microsoft is georganiseerd op basis van competentie, waarbij criteria gelden voor:

• Referenties
• Certificering
• Omzet

Op basis van je status op competentie kun je je onderscheiden van andere partners. Er zijn diverse competenties voor virtualisatie, communicatie, desktop, web development, applicatie integratie enzovoort. Op de competentie kun je een “Silver” of “Gold” status behalen.

Als Ordina AIM zijn we trots dat we de “Silver” status hebben kunnen behalen voor “Applicatie Integration”. De “Silver” status betekent dat we als Ordina AIM aan onze klanten kunnen laten zien, dat we voldoende referenties hebben opgebouwd op het gebied van applicatie integratie, voldoende gecertificeerde mensen aan boord hebben en omzet maken door het leveren van diverse diensten. We behoren met deze status op “Applicatie Integratie” tot 5% van alle bedrijven wereldwijd, die dergelijke status hebben op deze competentie.

De “Silver” status is een mooie mijlpaal, die we hebben bereikt. We willen uiteindelijk natuurlijk de status “Gold”. Deze status geeft ons nog meer onderscheidend vermogen ten opzichte van onze concurrenten. Met deze status kunnen we namelijk aantonen dat we wereldwijd tot de beste behoren op het gebied van “Applicatie Integration”. De status toont onze commitment tot Microsoft technologie, die bij deze competentie hoort. Technologie als BizTalk Server, Windows Communication Foundation (WCF) en SQL integratie technologie als Integration Services en SQL Broker. Als Ordina AIM zijn we in staat specifieke, hoogwaardige oplossingen te leveren en de “Gold” status zal uiteindelijk het bewijs richting onze klanten zijn.

Contest at Sandro's blog: Win an e-copy of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Patterns book

Sandro Pereira has a contest in which you can win an e-copy of Microsoft BizTalk Server 2010 Patterns from Packt Publishing.

Since I love the book as well (got the printed version), I thought I'd try to give the contest some extra attention.

If you would like to win an e-copy, be fast: the contest closes Friday December 16th.

Friday, December 09, 2011

BizTalk Server 2010 R2: Continuing story….

Last year communication of BizTalk has been a little cloudy. Will it be discontinued, will it be dead. Richard blogged on the BizTalk future story, and Tony kept discussion very lively with his talk on World Partner Conference this year. In the roadmap on Microsoft BizTalk site a vNext after 2010 was depicted.

A new release has been announced through BizTalk Server Team Blog: BizTalk Server 2010 R2. This is great news as people wondered when next release was due. This release will be delivered six months after Windows Server 8. To me it makes sense as the release will align not only with Server 8, but also VS 2011 and SQL Server 2012. Besides platform alignment other improvements have been announced like alignment with industry standards, adapter improvements, and more tighter integration with Azure. The release does not deviate much as what was shown on existing roadmap.


Exact dates of release of BizTalk Server 2010 R2 are not disclosed yet. I think when it will be release it will probably be renamed BizTalk Server 2012 or BizTalk Server 8. I personally am very happy with the announcement of this release and Microsoft continuing support for this great product and dedication to keep improving it. BizTalk is not dead or going away soon and I think it to stay for a long time.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

New kid on the block: My BizTalk Processing Monitor

Since quite some time I am developing a BizTalk monitoring tool, called BizTalk Processing Monitor (or BPM). This tool is different from most other BizTalk monitoring tools in that it does not monitor end points, but it gives (near) realtime insight if messages flow through your BizTalk Group. If there are any interruptions, you get warned. To retrieve this kind of information, BPM uses the Tracking database.

Diagram View - here you can add a picture from your system and define which information you want to see 
 Wednesday December 7 I had the pleasure to demonstrate BizTalk Processing Monitor to Saravana Kumar, known from amongst others BizTalk247 and BizTalk360. During a one hour Skype session we discussed BizTalk monitoring in general and BizTalk 360, but most of the time was reserved for a demonstration of my BizTalk Processing Monitor.

For January my collegue Steef-Jan Wiggers, Saravana and me are planning a talk at Ordina, Nieuwegein in the Netherlands about BizTalk monitoring and the available tools. This talk will be part of Ordina's 'Innoveer jij mee' series (Innovate wih us). For now I'll just show you a couple of screen dumps from BPM, but for a live demonstration I hope to meet you in January! Details will follow when available.

In the mean time: if you are interested in the capabilities of this tool or just want to know how it works, please don't hesitate to drop me a line!

Warning Levels legend - When, for example,  it took longer
than 60 minutes to receive a certain messagetype, the
so-called Tracker in the Diagram View will turn red

Throttling View - Your Hosts and their instances are auto discovered. In case BizTalk is throttling, you get a warning.

Performance Counters by Throttling State - this screen shows more information about the
throttling related performance counters

Thursday, December 01, 2011

BizTalk360 Another release more capabilities: Version 3.1

BizTalk360 evolves to be a more and more mature product. In past I and other BizTalk MVP’s have written stories on this monitoring product (I used to call it a tool, but it has gone that stage it’s a product and a very good one). I have been impressed by it since the first time it almost a year ago.

On Saravana’s blog you find a detailed overview what is new in this 3.1 release. On my VM I have 2.5.790.0 version, which I uninstalled before installing the 3.1.335.0 version i.e. public beta. And I must say this was an easy process lasting only a few minutes. Only thing I needed to do is deleted the BizTalk360 database in my SQL Server database.The msi installer has been improved.

One of the new feature is the graphical end-to-end message flow viewer. I tested this by enabling tracking in one of my orchestrations. I enabled all tracking options in ports and orchestration. I ran a message through orchestration and went to BizTalk360 Tracking Data Queries and click pipeline (XmlReceive) belonging to receive location that picks the messages and sends them into MessageBox to be picked up by orchestration.


This comes very clear when dialog pops up and I click Transmitter on pipeline, then transmitter of orchestration and I get diagram shown below.


I conclude that this is a very handy feature and works easy with guidance given by Saravana blog post on this feature.

Thumbs up.